Rahlves takes 7th in Super G: Truckee’s Nash, South Tahoe’s Mendes show well
After days of delay due to rain, snow and high winds, the men’s Super G finally got under way at Hakuba Feb. 16, with Austria’s Hermann Maier taking the gold just days after a dangerous spill on the downhill.
Truckee’s Daron Rahlves finished in seventh place, in 1:35.96, 1.14 seconds behind Maier’s 1:34.82, the highest finish for an American in the race.
“I’m satisfied, but there’s a bitter taste in my mouth,” Rahlves told the USOC’s Frank Zang. “I came out here today to medal, ski as hard as I could and leave everything out there. It was a tough race, tough conditions. I went all out.”
Rahlves’ teammates Tommy Moe and Kyle Rasmussen placed behind Rahlves, with Moe at eighth (1:35.97) and Rasmussen at 13th (1:36.52).
“My thought today was, ‘screw it,'” said Moe. “I’m going for it. Either I’ll blow out or have a good run. I was pretty fast on top and in the midsection I lost some time.”
Coming into the race after a 45-minute fog delay, Rahlves knew before his run was over he’d made too many mistakes.
“There was one mistake off the rooster jump,” Rahlves said. “I just made the gate after that, got sucked into the compression and lost a lot of time right there. I think that’s where I lost most of my speed. On the flats, I was toast after that.”
Rahlves said he felt bad because he didn’t step up to the challenge.
“But I gave it a good shot. It was a fight all the way down,” Rahlves said.
Rahlves still has the slalom to look forward to Feb. 21.
He will travel to Korea after the Games for more World Cup competition.
Truckee’s Marcus Nash continued his second Olympic trip with bottom-half finishes in two races last week.
In the 10K classical race, Nash was 78th in 32:11.9.
Later, in the 30K classical race, Nash improved to 49th at 1:44:37.7.
In the alpine combined downhill race, South Tahoe’s Jonna Mendes was 15th in 1:31.16.
In the downhill, she placed 17th at 1:30.89.
Picabo Street took the Super G gold last week, while Mendes was 32nd in that race at 1:20.35.
Jonny comes home
America’s newest instant-celebrity, Squaw Valley gold medal-winner Jonny Moseley returned to Tiburon this week to a hero’s welcome.
“This is really unbelievable,” Moseley told Tom Kelly of the USSA. “It’s just so good to be home and see my family and friends and share this medal.”
After his win, Moseley left a message on the Squaw answering machine thanking his coaches and friends.
Moseley was supposed to return to Squaw this week to continue training.
Squaw officials said there are plans for a Jonny Moseley Day and celebration, but dates have not been set.
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